Although Antietam Creek is not the most heavily stocked streams in Maryland, it certain wins the prize given the short, fishable distance and the fact that stocking occurs weekly during the season. The fishing starts in the north at the nine acre Devils Backbone Park. This is a superb facility full of picnic tables, manicured banks with paths and plenty of grass for the kids to roll around on.
The Park itself is divided into two sections with the dam providing the dividing line. The dam backs up a wide, deep lake with a broad spillway feeding the quickly running stream. Below the dam, the stream runs shallow through several channels and terminates at a deep hole immediately above the bridge. There is no wading in Devils Backbone Park. Actually, the “no wading” rule is fine since access from the bank is universal and the stream is narrow enough to eliminate the need to get in the water. Below the bridge that supports Lappans Road, the creek runs into a “wild” area adjacent to the road that does not have this restriction associated with it.
Once the creek turns through the narrow openings of the Lappans Road bridge, it widens to over 80 feet running over a rocky bottom with plenty of riffles and a few gradient breaks to add to the interest. For anglers looking for a more remote experience, fish this section instead of lining up shoulder to shoulder with everyone else in the heavily pressured Park. That said, you will find other anglers here during the season, but given the width of the creek, it will not feel as pressured. Resign yourself to moving in the creek since both banks are densely forested with a narrow, almost indistinguishable, anglers trail on the eastern bank. At normal levels, the creek runs about 3 feet deep. In addition to the access point noted above, there are one or two small turnoffs between the bridge and the junction of Beaver Creek that may or may not be legal by the time you read this.
North: From I-70, take exit 29 for MD 65 S/Sharpsburg Pike. Turn left onto MD 68 E/Lappans Road. Follow it to all the access points.
South: From I-270, take exit 32 to merge onto I-70 W. Take exit 49 for US 40 Alt toward Middletown. Turn left onto MD 68 W/Lappans Road. Follow it to all the access points.
·North Lot – Devils Backbone Park (39.538519,-77.710339)
·South Lot – Devils Backbone Park (39.540916,-77.712332)
·Turnoff on Lappans Road near mouth of Beaver Creek (39.535035,-77.709401)
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Maryland DNR stocking plan.
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Upstream from the bridge
Downstream from the center of the Park
“Wild” area upstream from Beaver Creek
Downstream from below the bridge
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore